Monday, November 6, 2017

AMAPS Luncheon on Branding Demonstrates How Brands Must Evolve to Maintain Relevance.

If you missed the AMA Puget Sound October luncheon, you missed a thoughtful look at how branding has changed and must continue to change in today’s digital age.  You also missed a chance to learn how two major NW brands, Alaska Air and Ben Bridge Jewelers, are updating their respective brands to position themselves for future growth.

The presentation began with a thought-provoking general review of how branding needs have changed as new digital tools have changed how potential users gain and process information.

Kass Sells, President of WE Communications, reviewed the results of a major global study among over 3,000 consumers in each of six different countries, on the new realities brands face in today’s business environment.  The conclusion of the Brands In Motions study is that all brands are in motion relative to the geography that they operate in, the industry they are a part of, and the stakeholders critical to their success.  This is a result of many things, including the disruption and dislocation within a brand’s environment, as explained by this quote below.
Disruption is what happens when someone does something clever that makes your company look obsolete.

Dislocation is when the whole environment is being altered so quickly that everyone starts to feel like they can’t keep up.”

- Craig Mundie, Former Chief Research and Strategy Officer at Microsoft
What this means for your brand is that disruption & dislocation plus changing consumer expectations have created a new environment where consumers want it all and your brand story must focus on the entire media ecosystem if your brand is to build and maintain a relevant position in your potential customers mind.
After this initial general review on branding, Jessica Leonard from Alaska Air offered details on how that iconic brand had responded to a major new addition – Virgin Air, and how their  advertising addressed the potential disconnect between two brands with existing brand images that were very different from each other.  She then shared how Alaska Air was approaching this new branding environment with some thoughts on the future goals and strategies for positioning the brand. 
Jessica talked about the need to provide their audience with something beyond service.  Alaska Air terms this new approach as hospitality that is personal, enjoyable and generous + a personality that reflects a West Coast vibe that is thoughtful, vibrant and unconventional.  The goal is for Alaska Air is to always “Be Remarkable” in everything they do for their customers.

Then, Marc Bridge from Ben Bridge Jewelers shared how this 100+-year old brand was updating its marketing and advertising approach, through a review of the competitive environment and the need to stand out in a “sea of sameness”. 
Marc talked about how the goal of their marketing was to transcend the perception of jewelry as an occasional, special moment experience, and the true value of jewelry is revealed over time as it becomes part of someone’s lifestyle and life.  Their new advertising campaign, For Life, addresses this belief as well as positions Ben Bridge Jewelers to be your   ”Jeweler For Life”.

This thoughtful, and thought-providing, luncheon presentation was capped off by a lively Q and A session  among the presenters.  All of the presenter’s charts can be found on the AMA Puget Sound website , and we encourage you to take a look to see how this knowledge can impact and improve your own branding programs.

-        Don Morgan

Don Morgan is Head Rainmaker at Raindance Consulting, and a past president of AMA Puget Sound.  He can be reached at